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Conserved S/T Residues of the Human Chaperone DNAJB6 Are Required for Effective Inhibition of Aβ42 Amyloid Fibril Formation

Månsson, Cecilia, van Cruchten, Remco T. P., Weininger, Ulrich, Yang, Xiaoting, Cukalevski, Risto, Arosio, Paolo, Dobson, Christopher M., Knowles, Tuomas, Akke, Mikael, Linse, Sara, Emanuelsson, Cecilia
Biochemistry 2018 v.57 no.32 pp. 4891-4902
amyloid, fluorescence, humans, hydrogen bonding, moieties, molecular chaperones, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, peptides, surface plasmon resonance
The human molecular chaperone DNAJB6, an oligomeric protein with a conserved S/T-rich region, is an efficient suppressor of amyloid fibril formation by highly aggregation-prone peptides such as the Aβ and polyQ peptides associated with Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease, respectively. We previously showed that DNAJB6 can inhibit the processes through which amyloid fibrils are formed via strong interactions with aggregated forms of Aβ42 that become sequestered. Here we report that the concentration-dependent capability of DNAJB6 to suppress fibril formation in thioflavin T fluorescence assays decreases progressively with an increasing number of S/T substitutions, with an almost complete loss of suppression when 18 S/T residues are substituted. The kinetics of primary nucleation in particular are affected. No detectable changes in the structure are caused by the substitutions. Also, the level of binding of DNAJB6 to Aβ42 decreases with the S/T substitutions, as determined by surface plasmon resonance and microscale thermophoresis. The aggregation process monitored using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that DNAJB6, in contrast to a mutational variant with 18 S/T residues substituted, can keep monomeric Aβ42 soluble for an extended time. The inhibition of the primary nucleation is likely to depend on hydroxyl groups in side chains of the S/T residues, and hydrogen bonding with Aβ42 is one plausible molecular mechanism, although other possibilities cannot be excluded. The loss of the ability to suppress fibril formation upon S/T to A substitution was previously observed also for polyQ peptides, suggesting that the S/T residues in the DNAJB6-like chaperones have a general ability to inhibit amyloid fibril formation by different aggregation-prone peptides.